How Need is Determined
After you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) which will tell you your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC along with your MSU budget will determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive.
In most cases, the amount of all your financial aid cannot exceed your budget and the amount of your need-based aid cannot exceed your need.
Your EFC is a calculated figure that determines how much you (and your parents, if you are a dependent student) are expected to contribute to your educational costs. This figure is determined from all the data you and your parents supply on the FAFSA, and is calculated using a formula established by Congress as federal law.
Need is calculated as the difference between your MSU budget and your EFC. The table belows shows an example of this formula:
|Budget||$21,642||Cost of attendance for 2 semesters|
|Expected Family Contribution||-$5,620||Determined by your FAFSA information|
|Need||$16,022||The maximum amount of need-based aid you may receive|
If you suspect that your EFC is incorrect, review your SAR for errors and correct them with the federal FAFSA processor.
Awarding of aid
MSU will offer need-based loans, grants, scholarships, and/or work programs for which you are eligible. Any need that remains after all awards have been subtracted, along with any remaining family contribution, may be met with non need-based loan programs such as the Stafford Unsubsidized Loan or the Parent PLUS Loan. Your award letter lists your eligibility for these programs. Graduate students may be also be eligible for the Grad PLUS loan.
Most financial aid awards assume full-time enrollment, and may be cancelled or reduced if a student is at an enrollment level of less than full-time. The table below shows the relationship between your academic level, the number of credits you are taking, and your enrollment status:
|ACADEMIC LEVEL||FULL-TIME||3/4-TIME||HALF-TIME||LESS THAN
|Undergraduate (including Ag Tech)||12||9-11||6-8||1-5|
See also our enrollment chart for specific requirements of most common aid programs.
Financial aid awards may be revised for any of the following reasons:
- Your residency has changed
- Your enrollment level has changed
- You have declined one or more awards
- We have been notified that you received other aid or had other resources (Veteran's Benefits, MET, etc.) of which we were unaware when the previous awards were made
- Your data and/or your parent data was incorrect and the error has been corrected
- Your summer financial aid has been processed
If you have questions about why an award was changed, please contact our office.